*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 22, 2019, 04:57:03 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 133 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 2 [3]
Print
Author Topic: More on 3D Model  (Read 24959 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2004, 09:34:22 AM »

Hello,

M.J., when your "decentralized Simulationist" play does acquire theme through the decisions of the people involved, then it's Narrativist play.

It's also what you like to play most, John, if I'm not mistaken. One of these days, you'll say, "Oh! I guess I like to play Narrativst by the definitions of the Big Model," without perceiving it as a threat to your designation/definition of Simulationist according to the Threefold.

That'll be a nice day.

Best,
Ron
Logged
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


WWW
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2004, 12:07:44 AM »

O.K., the creation of theme through decentralized simulationism is problematic. Part of my problem is undoubtedly the use of the word "theme", which hits me (personally) more in its musical than its literary meaning. I can see theme arising incidentally from decentralized simulationism, but if you are pursuing theme it may be impossible to do so without engaging premise, and that would be narrativism.

Still, centralization is not a switch, and no matter how many categories you create there will still be increments between them. Creative agenda remains a switch--you have one of these primary during play, and by definition you can't have two primary. You can have hybrid design which facilitates either of two agenda, and there might be coherence when two agenda coexist in play, but you can't prioritize two agenda simultaneously.

I still have more trouble with the notion that narrativism does not exist outside decentralized play. If narrativism is creation of theme through address of premise, it ought to be so even in participationist play. Centralization of credibility is an independent variable.

Participationism is, of course, the hard case. It is difficult to see how it can be anything, but it is something, and I find it difficult to imagine that it's always the same thing merely because of credibility distribution.

--M. J. Young
Logged

Jack Aidley
Member

Posts: 488


WWW
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2004, 03:00:36 AM »

Quote from: Alan
1) Just an observation: the power (or influence) distribution scale is a measure of technique.  So unlike Creative Agenda descriptions, which speaks purely about observable player goals, the 3d model pairs player goal with technique.


As I understand it the 3d model is saying that centralised/decentralised is a matter of player goals, not just a technique for acheiving a goal. I think this an accurate representation of reality. For example, on the various D&D boards you can see discussions in which some players strive to define and seek their own goals and challenges and bemoan their GMs over-controlling ways; while others complain that their GMs aren't challenging them, or aren't giving them interesting plots, or whatever.
Logged

- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter
Marco
Member

Posts: 1741


WWW
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2004, 03:15:58 AM »

I think my question about the observation of Decentralized Immersionist achieving theme and then declaring them Narrativist is this: what does The Big Model say that's useful about that? (I'm not saying it says nothing--I'd really like to know what, that is valuable, could come out of that categorization)

As someone who also identifies with that mode of play, I think there's a reason I'm skeptical of a lot of the Nar-centered dialog that goes on here that doesn't fit that model.

In a conversation with someone through PM's, I referenced a game I'd run and noted that the thematic questions (Premise and it's answer) weren't extant at the start of the game--they became so during the game and were answered in and around the climax.

I said that in order to bring those questions to the players up front, I'd have had to "start at the end."

He liked that (although he wasn't sure I'd have to 'start at the end') but said that I had to make sure that Premise was "up front and personal" to all the players (presumably all the time) for the play to be Narrativist.

Clearly if someone is playing under a Virtuality-mode that won't necessiarily/reliably be the case. But the idea that "we're doing star trek" so we're throwing out things that aren't star trek doesn't describe this play either (it's a virtuality, you can do whatever you think is apporpriate).

Now, missuse of the terms and ideas of GNS abound so maybe that PM conversation I had was misleading or misunderstood--but it does match many things I've seen unchallenged here in this forum.

-Marco
Logged

---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2004, 07:38:48 AM »

Hello,

M.J., you wrote,

Quote
I still have more trouble with the notion that narrativism does not exist outside decentralized play. If narrativism is creation of theme through address of premise, it ought to be so even in participationist play.


I'm willing to accept this ... except that we are only talking about words. Where's the example of play? Again, I am seeing a "participationism" in my mind that suits your claim, but I have no idea whether it maps to "participationism" in yours, or in Marco's, or in Mike's (who coined the term), and so on.

So let's turn to concrete play, actual instances, and see if we can get somewhere.

In our game of Fvlminata, I had to exert quite a bit of Force through scene framing in order for a story with a theme even to be possible. Or more accurately, since the system as such provided no means for a player to do this, we centralized this function onto me alone. That's why it became Force.

It was permitted Force. To have it be non-Force consensual scene framing would have been less fun, as the players and I were really putting a lot of emphasis onto "being Roman." For them to get the most out of that, they didn't do well to hop up into the overview, decide what sort of conflicts were going to ensue, and then hop down into their characters' heads.

(This might be termed the "Czege principle" - proposing and resolving one's own conflicts is problematic, or something like that.)

So the players and I basically just turned over the crucial role of where we go next, who gets there in time and who doesn't, and what information gets passed from whom to whom, over to me. As many an illusionist GM knows, mastery over these variables provides enormous personal authority over "how the story goes."

I think we played it Participationist. They knew I was exerting such effective control, and that their role in "theme making" was restricted to the limited sphere of what their characters said and did at the later end of a decision-making process. We had a fine time, even though this particular sort of GMing is tiring to me now (I used to be a master, but ultimately found it unsatisfying).

Did we get theme-stuff? I think so. Not, in my opinion, as effectively (in the artistic sense) as we could have. If it weren't for our aggressive use of the fascinating behavioral mechanics of the game (1st edition), it would have been like me drawing a chalk diagram on the sidewalk, lobbing a beanbag to a player, and instructing them to place it in that particular section of the diagram, and then all of us applauding when he did it.

But we did get the theme-stuff out. Narrativist play. Participationist techniques.

M.J., is that what you're talking about? If so, then I'm amenable. But in the name of all that's coherent, let's stay with concrete instances of play that really happened in order to work it out.

Best,
Ron

P.S. Whoops, editing this in, Marco - your example sounds Narrativist to me. But it's kinda sketchy in your summary, so maybe I'm projecting into it to say so. Can you start a thread about it with specific reference to techniques, interactions, and so on?
Logged
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


WWW
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2004, 12:19:25 PM »

Ron, I would agree with that as an example of highly centralized narrativist play. I can't say for certain whether it was "participationist", or whether it would be possible to put more credibility in the hands of the referee, but I think it makes my key point--that you can't distinguish "narrativist address of premise" from "simulationist creation of theme" strictly by centralization of credibility. I think that centralization eventually hits the point at which character players have no meaningful input, at which point no creative agendum can be expressed by the character players (efforts to do so being quashed by the referee). The referee may still be addressing his premise and creating his theme entirely on the fly, telling them the story as he creates it and ignoring their efforts to derail him. This may be narrativist (because theme is arising from address of premise), but it is dysfunctional because the character players are shut out of meaningful participation in the game (which would be true for any agendum).

So I'm going to go with three recognized agenda, one creating theme, one meeting challenge, and one acquiring knowledge, and leave centralization/decentralization of credibility as a range of techniques which can enhance or complicate play in different agenda at different points in the range and in conjunction with other techniques.

--M. J. Young
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2004, 12:23:59 PM »

Hello,

Your dysfunctional image matches my "Typhoid Mary" description in the Narrativism essay.

What I'd really like to emphasize, however, is that pre-created or agreed-upon theme cannot fall into your "creating theme" category. That is something I've been trying to articulate over and over for about seven years now.

The distinction between a process which creates a theme (however hackneyed, doesn't matter) via play and one which is revisiting or confirming an already-established theme via play is immense.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Gordon C. Landis
Member

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games


WWW
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2004, 01:28:27 PM »

Hi all,

I'd phrase it this way: in all play, decentralization of credibility is (as M.J. says) an independent variable.  But in Nar play, decentralization of authorship is required.  I think failing to seperate these two things (and they are tricky to seperate - I'm not sure how exactly to express the difference, even though I think I can feel it fairly well) is why people object to the Impossible Thing.  It is possible to author even with greatly constrained credibility - in fact, System Matters tells us that putting some constraints on credibilty can be a very good thing.

There are preferences regarding credibility distribution "styles" that can be very strong - but (IMO) a credibility-preference isn't in itself a CA.  I still think through my playtest of clehrich's  Shadows in the Fog with John (Kim) from time to time, and I've come to realize there was only one really strong conclusion I could draw  from the experience: many in that group don't like a lot of distributed credibility.  CA-wise, neither my GNS-acumen nor the "instance" of play were up to the task of making a meaningful evaluation.

Note that when I say "authorship" and "author" above, I'm referring (as Ron points out) to the address of premise in play.  Story-transcript oriented Sim play might be said to have decentralization of authorship of the transcript, but not of the premise.  Decentralize that, and it's Nar.

Marco's question is an interesting one, which looks like it may get it's own thread.  A few quick responses: it seems to me that knowing whether we're doing Nar-Virtuality (or Dramatism) or Sim-Virtuality(or Dramatism) makes for a great starting point.  I think the three GNS CA's were always intented as [sarcasm] mere [/sarcasm] starting points, and it is entirely appropriate (desperately needed, in fact) to discuss credibility preferences (and many other things) in detail.  Not in that it invalidates or changes GNS CA's in any way, just that it's something else that's really important.

I also have come to realize of late just how . . . unforced (he said, avoiding "unconscious" and thus hopefully the many possible side arguments that can spring from there) authorship (in the address of premise sense) can be.  When you have credibility-distribution mechanics in play, it's easy to "see" the authors at work, but susch things aren't needed.  At all.  As the claim that all three CA's have been around as long as the hobby has would require . . .

Gordon
Logged

www.snap-game.com (under construction)
John Kim
Member

Posts: 1805


WWW
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2004, 10:39:34 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
M.J., when your "decentralized Simulationist" play does acquire theme through the decisions of the people involved, then it's Narrativist play.

It's also what you like to play most, John, if I'm not mistaken. One of these days, you'll say, "Oh! I guess I like to play Narrativst by the definitions of the Big Model," without perceiving it as a threat to your designation/definition of Simulationist according to the Threefold.

That'll be a nice day.

OK, so I'm seeing agreement from you, Ron, that Theme/Decentralized corresponds to Narrativism.  As for that day... what the heck.  "Oh!  I guess I like to play Narrativist by the definitions of the Big Model".  Actually, I'm pretty sure the day is in the past.  I've said before that I thought that my recent RuneQuest campaign would be considered Narrativist (that's the three-year one that used Whimsy Cards).  I've certainly never said that I don't like Narrativism.  

Quote from: Ron Edwards
What I'd really like to emphasize, however, is that pre-created or agreed-upon theme cannot fall into your "creating theme" category. That is something I've been trying to articulate over and over for about seven years now.

The distinction between a process which creates a theme (however hackneyed, doesn't matter) via play and one which is revisiting or confirming an already-established theme via play is immense.

Sigh.  Look, no one is disagreeing tha the difference is immense.  That's why it's such a central and explicit part of the 3D Model.  In 3D Model terms, there is an immense gap between centralized and decentralized.  

What the 3D model does is extend that gap and say that it is important for other games as well.  i.e.  Even if you're not playing for theme, it is important whether you are just accepting an agreed-upon input or creating something dynamically through play.  That is the centrality distinction, and the 3D Model highlights it by making it an axis of play.  

Quote from: Gordon C. Landis
I'd phrase it this way: in all play, decentralization of credibility is (as M.J. says) an independent variable.  But in Nar play, decentralization of authorship is required.  I think failing to seperate these two things (and they are tricky to seperate - I'm not sure how exactly to express the difference, even though I think I can feel it fairly well) is why people object to the Impossible Thing.  It is possible to author even with greatly constrained credibility - in fact, System Matters tells us that putting some constraints on credibilty can be a very good thing.

My impression here is that by "decentralization of credibility" you mean things like Director-stance narrating of events.  Is that right?  I agree with this, and I think that the "centrality" axis of the 3D Model should be about centrality of authorship.  You can have decentralized authorship even if there is no such director-stance or otherwise non-traditional rules for credibility distribution.  

Quote from: Gordon C. Landis
There are preferences regarding credibility distribution "styles" that can be very strong - but (IMO) a credibility-preference isn't in itself a CA.  I still think through my playtest of clehrich's  Shadows in the Fog with John (Kim) from time to time, and I've come to realize there was only one really strong conclusion I could draw  from the experience: many in that group don't like a lot of distributed credibility.  CA-wise, neither my GNS-acumen nor the "instance" of play were up to the task of making a meaningful evaluation.

I think that's fair enough as an evaluation.  Incidentally, would you be interested in playing "My Life With Master" with some of us?  We already did an introductory session, but I think new minions could join.  

Quote from: Gordon C. Landis
Note that when I say "authorship" and "author" above, I'm referring (as Ron points out) to the address of premise in play.  Story-transcript oriented Sim play might be said to have decentralization of authorship of the transcript, but not of the premise.  Decentralize that, and it's Nar.

Urk.  OK, so now we have three grades of centrality.  
- Centrality of transcript authorship
- Centrality of premise authorship
- Centrality of credibility

I would say that in 3D, centrality of authorship is measured relative to focus.  i.e. So if the focus is on Theme, then centrality of authorship is primarily over authorship of Theme.  If the focus is on Challenge, the centrality of authorship is primarily authorship of Challenge (i.e. what is my challenge going to be).  If the focus is on Immersion, then the centrality of authorship is primarily authorship of subjective events -- i.e. transcript.  This means that we're not simultaneously measuring centrality of transcript authorship and centrality of premise authorship, but I think that's OK.
Logged

- John
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2004, 07:03:45 AM »

Hello,

Are we all agreeing here? Mostly?

Holy shit.

Best,
Ron
Logged
John Kim
Member

Posts: 1805


WWW
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2004, 03:22:52 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Are we all agreeing here? Mostly?

Well, Gordon still has disagreements with the 3D model, I think.  But I think I'll start a new thread for that.
Logged

- John
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


WWW
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2004, 06:36:36 PM »

Quote from: Ron
What I'd really like to emphasize, however, is that pre-created or agreed-upon theme cannot fall into your "creating theme" category. That is something I've been trying to articulate over and over for about seven years now.

The distinction between a process which creates a theme (however hackneyed, doesn't matter) via play and one which is revisiting or confirming an already-established theme via play is immense.

I agree, but with some degree of caveat.

Let me start with the obvious case on the one extreme. We sit down to play, and I, the referee, say, "We're going to play through Othello with the serial numbers filed off. You'll play Othello, you're Iago, you're Desdemona...[and so forth]. In the end, Othello will kill Desdemona because Iago has driven him into a jealous blindness. Let's do it"--that's simulationist, I'm pretty sure. No one is really addressing premise; we're experiencing it, all of us.

At the other extreme, if I as referee start running the game and as it unfolds I decide that there's a really neat premise I want to address, and I want to bring out my moral for the story, so I systematically vacate all player decisions that would run counter to my story, but I still address the premise and create the theme, that's the Typhoid Mary type of Narrativism--dysfunctional, but narrativist.

The problem is, my players can't really tell the difference between me inventing the story as I go along, me working toward specific outcomes from a rough outline I've got in my head, and me corraling them into a story I've got written up here behind the referee's screen. If the theme is something I have decided to present through the game, but the other players don't know it, we're really in a gray area.

I would say that that gray area is borderline narrativism. It's still the Typhoid Mary referee, because he has addressed the premise and created the theme several steps ahead of where everyone else is at the moment but is revealing his thoughts through play.

If the players know what the theme is, what the moral of the story is going to be, how it's all going to work out in the end, then we've crossed the line out of narrativist play. But I think what's necessary for narrativist play is that at least some of the participants don't know what the theme will be, even if one or more of them are working toward making a specific statement that they plan to make through their contributions.

So I agree that playing to present an agreed-upon theme is not narrativist, but I don't agree that play in which someone is planning to reveal their chosen theme within the shared imagined space during play (but has already decided what they want to say) is not narrativist, as long as the experience for the group is that the theme is not generally known and becomes known through play.

I'm not sure I've worded that entirely well, and I admit it's a gray area so I might be persuaded otherwise, but that's how I see it at the moment.

--M. J. Young
Logged

John Kim
Member

Posts: 1805


WWW
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2004, 07:02:58 PM »

Quote from: M. J. Young
 The problem is, my players can't really tell the difference between me inventing the story as I go along, me working toward specific outcomes from a rough outline I've got in my head, and me corraling them into a story I've got written up here behind the referee's screen. If the theme is something I have decided to present through the game, but the other players don't know it, we're really in a gray area.

I would say that that gray area is borderline narrativism. It's still the Typhoid Mary referee, because he has addressed the premise and created the theme several steps ahead of where everyone else is at the moment but is revealing his thoughts through play.  

Well, I'll call a topic check.  The topic is, after all, the 3D Model.  And in the 3D Model, the answer here is clear.  Whether the referee makes the story up ahead of time or improvises, this is still centralized because the referee is monopolizing authorship.  Thus: Theme/Centralized.  Would you agree with that?  

Now, the relation to current GNS is worth considering and valid to bring up, but I don't want this thread to be completely derailed into discussion of non-3D GNS by itself.
Logged

- John
Pages: 1 2 [3]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!